2018 was meant to be the year we welcomed our third child, but at the age of 36, after 2 miscarriages, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Within 2 weeks I had embarked upon 5 months of intense chemotherapy and ultimately surgery.
I underwent genetic testing looking for genetic mutations which might make me susceptible to other cancers and had to decide a surgical option for my breasts. My genetic tests came back inconclusive and even now I am not quite sure what this means. I’ve been told that I have a varient of the BRCA1 gene that is currently presumed to be harmless but with further advancements and research in the future it could be reclassified as a cancer causing mutation.
From the moment I was diagnosed I knew I wanted a double mastectomy for peace of mind. I considered all the recon options but at the end of the day I decided to forgo reconstruction as all I wanted to do was heal as quickly as possible and get on with life. I struggled with my decision and have learnt it is a very hard and very personal decision, which is different for everyone. I found a huge online community of ‘flat and fabulous’ women which I found comforting and I know I made the decision that was right for me.
Throughout my treatment I have read about many women being diagnosed with breast cancer as early as their 20’s. I don’t have a family history of breast cancer and never expected to get it but I feel thankful everyday that I was vigilent and regularly checked my breasts in the shower. I feel strongly that there should be more awareness for young breast cancer as early detection is imperative for good outcomes.
I want to support So Brave in their mission to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research by becoming a So Brave Model Ambassador. I want women to know that young breast cancer happens and they should feel confident and comfortable seeking medical advice as soon as possible. So Brave empowers young cancer survivors and I want to be able to tell anyone in a similar position to me that they can be stronger than the storm.